How we helped a Global Non-Governmental Organisation increase engagement by increasing transparency

Organisation: undisclosed for reasons of confidentiality

Sector: NGO

Year: 2020

Interchange's Role

Gráinne Hamilton was an advisor to the NGO as part of a multi-agency team; delivering strategy development for embedding open culture, open engagement and open collaboration; staff coaching and mentoring


Trapped & Untapped Value Realised

Significant cost savings and enhanced reputational value¹

¹Metrics for quantifying the value of open projects is an evolving area we are actively contributing to


In this section, we take a look at the activities for our key indicators and the outcomes realised for the organisation.

Rapid Innovation

Open collaboration with internal and external stakeholders through community calls

Collective ideation and the rapid generation of a wide range of ideas representing the perspectives of different stakeholders


Open contribution from external experts to the open source platform

Contribution from people with a range of perspectives, skills and experiences, helping to create a more robust and resilient platform


Being transparent about their values

A survey about the primary motivation for contribution to open source projects 

Increased understanding about the organisation’s values

Identifying that the primary motivation for contribution to their open source projects was alignment of values and that people were willing to give their time in exchange for contributing to something they found meaningful

Navigating Possible, Probable & Preferred Futures

Adapting to the evolving field of environmental activism and transforming in order to remain relevant

Having spent years as one of the only, and leading, voices in the field of environmental activism, newcomers were entering and changing the field. By embedding open approaches, principles and culture, the NGO now has processes that enable them to adapt quickly to the possible and probable futures these changes could bring. 

By increasing engagement with existing and new audiences they are extending their impact and reach, and remaining a powerful force for creating a preferred future for themselves and the planet.

How We Helped

The Challenge

As a pioneer in environmental activism, a global Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) was concerned about remaining relevant as other environmental activism bodies entered the field. Conversations with their supporters identified that they felt a lack of engagement and an internal review showed there were issues relating to collaboration and connection between departments. This hindered their ability to respond to developing stories and created a lack of clarity about how to engage, resulting in falling audience figures.

The Interchange Point

We helped the NGO create a structure for transparency to develop a deeper connection between their internal and external communities. Having chosen to develop an open source engagement platform, we provided an extensive suite of support to help them embed open culture and open processes to develop the technology and engagement with their audiences. This included teaching them how to facilitate and structure community calls, surveying and defining formats for engagement with open collaborators, and interviewing staff to gain feedback to inform regeneration and development of their web guidelines

The Outcome

The NGO was pleasantly surprised that when we helped them open the door, people responded. Internally and externally, people wanted to engage and be part of the solution.

Open engagementent led to the development of trust and commitment to the organisation’s goals. Open collaboration helped foster understanding about the organisation and prompted people to engage deeply with the organisation’s values. Transparency helped them to gain trust, and trust is translating into increased engagement.

By inviting open contribution to the open source engagement platform and transforming internal collaboration processes and workflows, these are additional impacts realised:

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